Monday, July 6, 2015
* spoilers *
Estelle Paradise wakes up in the hospital after a horrific car accident and some sort of attack with no memory of how she got there. She quickly discovers that her 7 month old daughter Mia has been missing for days. People across the country speculate that she murdered her child and label her convenient amnesia as a lie. The police doubt her story and put her on the top of the suspect list. Even her own husband accuses her of being at fault and essentially abandons her. She checks into a psychiatric care facility with a stellar memory recover therapist in order to find out what happened. What happened to her baby and what happened to her?
Remember Mia brings to life a parent's worst nightmare: a defenseless baby is missing and no one knows what happened. The narrative follows Estelle as she uncovers what happened. The story moves quickly and keeps momentum throughout. I had to know what happened. Estelle is a typical mother. Her baby developed colic a few months in and never recovered. Mia cries and screams all day long no matter what Estelle does. It has worn on her and she's become depressed with her efforts doing nothing and having no support. Estelle was so excited to have a baby, but the reality is much harder than she imagined. After calling every specialist and having them all tell her the same thing about Mia, her husband draws the line and puts her on antidepressants. She starts losing track of time, forgetting things, and making horrible decisions. In this situation, it's so easy to look in from the outside and call her a bad mom, but she probably has post-partum depression and has no support system at all since her parents died and she doesn't seem to have any friends. I liked Estelle and mostly felt sorry for her. Her mental state makes it hard to tell what is real and what is in her mind.
Although it's a very readable book, I had quite a few problems with the book. The work to recover Estelle's memory seems very easy and conveniently fast. The characters beyond Estelle are pretty one dimensional. Her husband is a self involved jerk who takes no responsibility for anything. I couldn't believe how horrible he was and it really called into question why she even married him in the first place. Even their very first meeting shows his true colors. The villains of the piece literally detailed their entire plan for Estelle like Bond villains. They are flatly evil and call her a bad mother while turning around and admittedly selling children to abusive households or criminals. The book jacket touts itself as similar to Gone Girl, but it's a pretty basic, straight forward story. The twists are few and far between. After the villains are revealed, the plot just becomes uninteresting. I thought the ending was much too convenient and the actual outcome would have been quite tragic.
Overall, I like Remember Mia, but it's a beach read with not a lot of rereadability. It was an interesting adventure, but not terribly complex.
My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins